Russia continues to fight Nazism: Why some are waiting to join?

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
Russia continues to fight Nazism: Why some are waiting to join?
At the 69th session of the UNGA, Russia will launch a draft resolution on “Combating the glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.”

This is a traditional Russian initiative that was supported by 135 United Nations member-states last year, with 46 countries co-sponsoring the resolution. However, some continue to vote against under clearly weak pretexts.

The broadest possible support is important, especially at the current UNGA session that coincides with the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Second World War. The tragic events of that time led to the creation of the United Nations and a contemporary system for the promotion and protection of human rights. The establishment of the UN exemplifies the response of the Allies to the evil of Nazism.

Our initiative is driven by the deep concern over the spread of various extremist groups, in particular neo-Nazis and “skinheads”, which resort to violence against people of other ethnicities and religions. Their “inspiration” often comes from ideologies and practices the UN was created to fight against. Their activities fuel contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.

In a number of countries, public events aimed at the glorification of the Nazi movement and neo-Nazis are held: former members of the Waffen SS are glorified, monuments and memorials in their honor are erected, and attempts are made to declare those who fought against the Allies, or collaborated with Nazi Germany, as heroes of national liberation movements. All of this is blasphemy and cynicism in the eyes of those who freed the world from Nazism.

Within this context, Russia believes that appropriate measures to counter these trends should be taken both at national and international levels. The proposed draft resolution is thematic rather that country-specific and is aimed at fostering dialogue and cooperation among states on this pressing issue. It is in line with existing international instruments, in particular the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

We believe that the adoption of this draft resolution by the broadest possible majority would send a clear message that contemporary manifestations of racism and xenophobia are unacceptable.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.